Computer Science

Tech Talk – HINCare: Using Heterogenous Information Networks for Elderly Care Recommendation

In Hong Kong, the number of elderly citizens is estimated to rise to one third of the population, or 2.37 million, in year 2037. As they age and become more frail, the demand for formal support services (e.g., providing domestic or escort services) will increase significantly in the coming years. However, there is a severe lack of manpower to meet these needs. Some elderly-care homes reported a 70% shortage of employees. There is thus a strong need of voluntary or part-time helpers for taking care of elders.
In this talk, Prof. Cheng will introduce HINCare, a software platform that encourages mutual-help and volunteering culture in the community. HINCare uses the HIN (Heterogeneous Information Network) to recommend helpers to elders or other service recipients. The algorithms that use HINs and AI technologies for matching elders and helpers are based on our recent research results. This is the first time that HIN is used to support elderly care.
HINCare is now downloadable in Apple and Google Play Store, and has been serving more than a thousand of elders and helpers in NGOs (e.g., SKH and CSFC). The app is originally designed for elderly users, but has now expanded its services to support the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) and 10 NGOs engaged in teenage and family services. The system won the HKICT Award 2021, Asia Smart App Award 2020, and the HKU Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2021 HKU.

Duckietown AI-Driving

HKU Duckietown Project is an interdisciplinary project that aims to democratise A.I. and robotics research. Through this project, students will gain tangible experience in a fun and playful way in prototyping self-driving robots and applying A.I. to the physical education platform developed by MIT for experiential learning.
A project highlight is the students’ participation in the A.I. Driving Olympics (AI-DO) international contests, with the live final events co-locate with NIPS and ICRA, the prestigious conferences in A.I. and robotics. Through the preparation of the competitions for over half a year, students will undergo intensive trainings, foster peer collaborations, solidify their knowledge and demonstrate a sustainable learning outcome.